No Shave November at Essex PD

The faces of local cops have looked a little-less clean-cut lately, but it’s because of a good cause.

The Essex Police Department partook in a ‘No Shave November’ initiative this year--authorizing officers to wear a beard for the first time ever.

Members of the department who agreed to make a personal donation to Aunt Dot’s Place were permitted to grow their beards through November. In total, EPD raised $1,700 and presented that gift to the local food shelf on Wednesday, Dec. 4 during an open house.

Officer Brett Williger proposed the campaign to Chief Rick Garey who gave the green light upon agreeing that it was a great idea. Williger estimated that 17 officers and administrative personnel in total got involved.

“We all donated to be able to participate, have a little fun, and help out the community at the same time,” Williger said. “The chief’s big on giving back, and I think this is something we'll carry on to next year.”

EPD didn’t start its month of beard growing until Nov. 8, so Garey permitted the extra facial hair to last until Dec. 8. However, officers will continue to be able to grow mustaches, which was allowed previously per the department’s policy.

Williger, who had been a Marine prior to joining the Burlington Police Department, said that they had fun with it--and even Chief Garey grew a beard for a short while before needing to shave it off.

“When I grew the beard, it was actually the longest I’ve ever had in my adult life… well, longest ever since I wasn’t even able to grow a beard and shave when I was 18 and joined the Marines,” Williger joked. “My kids don’t even want to be seen in public with me.”

Photo & article credit: St. Albans Messenger